In just his second season, Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons will have his first 1,000 yard season.
Currently, Jones has 63 catches for 997 yards; just three yards shy of every wide receivers favorite milestone. The former University of Alabama standout would join his fellow teammate Roddy White, who has already collected 1,140 yards on this season. Once Jones accomplished this feat, Atlanta will be the only team with two receivers with 1,000 yards. Even crazier is tight end Tony Gonzalez is not that far off from 1,000 yards himself. He currently has 831 yards.
What is impressive about Jones’ accomplishment though, aside from his youth is that he has done it with less catches. Gonzalez has caught 81 passes from Matt Ryan, Roddy has reeled in 77 and Jones has 63. While the young receiver has less catches, Jones makes up for it by averaging 15.8 yards a catch. Mike Nolan, Atlanta’s offensive coordinator has done a great job of putting the speedy receiver in spots where he can run after the catch. Once Jones gets the ball he is only a juke move away from either a first down or touchdown.
His mentor, Roddy White probably benefits the most from Julio’s ability. The danger of Jones going deep prevents teams from double-teaming White. Atlanta’s opponents pretty much have to pick their poison every down. Take your pick, Roddy’s hands or Jones’ speed, either way both are killer and they make Matt Ryan look great.
Even though the Falcons lost to the Carolina Panthers, Jones was instrumental in the run Atlanta tried to make to get back into it. He grabbed five catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. As the Falcons come to the end of the season, he is going to be vital to the Falcons securing home field advantage during the playoffs and how far they go once they are there.